The following is the original article as written by Maureen Cleave - the third in a series of five - on How Does a Beatle Live? - exactly as published in the London Evening Standard on March 18, 1966. Part 3 - George Harrison:
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Page 8–EVENING STANDARD, FRIDAY, MARCH 18, 1966
with everything …
LIVES part 3
GEORGE HARRISON is 23, the youngest Beatle and the least well-known. He isn’t one of the two who sing and he isn’t Ringo; indeed some people like him best because they think (wrongly) that nobody else does. “Good old George,” is how he used to see himself, “good average old George, plodding along, a mere morsel.”
He is in fact a strong-willed and uncompromising character with a strict regard for what he considers to be the truth, and an even stricter regard for his own rights.
“I asked to be successful,” he said. “I never asked to be famous; I can tell you I got more famous than I wanted to be. I never intended to be the Big Cheese.” There then followed a typical piece of Harrison logic: “People keep saying, ‘We made you what you are,’ well, I made Mr. Hovis what he is and I don’t go round crawling over his gates and smashing up the wall round his house. I can’t understand some of them being so aggressively bad-mannered; I suppose they feel belittled wanting something from four scruffy louts like us.”
He is pretty independent; the others often think George is out on some kind of limb but, though they laugh at him, they often end up doing the same thing themselves. He was the first to move out of London, the first to become interested in Indian music. He does not watch television during all its waking hours and he thinks Rolls-Royces look dreadful. He likes to rise at 10:30 and has got hold of the revolutionary idea that Beatles should take exercise. “Just swimming,” he said hastily, “not exercise you’d notice. I want us all to be healthy and that, not going to clubs.
Any self-consciousness seems to have been drummed out of him in the early days in Liverpool when he would stand at the bus stop wearing his black leather suit, white cowboy boots and very pale pink flat hat. When the bus arrived, he would board it with guitar, amplifier and often tea chest bass. George likes to be himself and bitterly regrets having abandoned his early habit of eating and sleeping on the stage. “We should have stuck out for all that,” he said, “eating toast and chips and chickens. We only cut our hair and said all the yes-sir-no-sir three-bags-full-sir bit to get in.”
He lives in Esher with his young wife Pattie in a large white sunny bungalow surrounded by an old brick wall. ”Part of Queen Victoria’s country pad,” he said grandly, “and Clive of India had it for a bit. It’s a National Trust wall - you’re not allowed to chop it up or anything.” He added poetically that it glowed red in the setting sun.
He has a housekeeper called Margaret, a Ferrari, two Minis; 48, so far unread leather-bound volumes on natural history in French, a Sidney Nolan print that he loves, a conservatory; and a music room with tape recorders, a little juke box and walls covered in guitars.